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French Moto Laws?

Discussion in 'European Riders' started by Orson, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. Orson

    Orson Member

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    I've read about French Moto laws requiring motorcyclists to carry a breathalyzer and another law requiring hi-visibility vests.

    Can someone provide a definitive word on these laws?

    Were they enacted but, not enforced or just plain ignored? Or maybe they were proposed but never enacted?
     
  2. roger coleman

    roger coleman Well-Known Member

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    Breathalyzer not needed
    Hi Viz jacket advisable to carry for both rider and pillion
    Hi viz markings on helmet
    sat nav must not warn of speed cameras
     
  3. Orson

    Orson Member

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    Thanks for the prompt reply but, I am curious whatever became of the whole story behind the breathalyzer law.

    Was it just a proposal that never became a law?
     
  4. fred_jb

    fred_jb Member

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    You don't have to wear the hi-viz, but like car drivers, in the event of a vehicle breakdown or accident you are required to put on a hi-viz garment such as a waistcoat or jacket. If you don't already use one, then you can buy purpose made very lightweight items such as the following:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/AA-High-Vi...d=1485273931&sr=8-20&keywords=vest+visibility

    You are also supposed to have 4 reflective stickers on your helmet meeting precise descriptions regarding shape and placement as in the following:
    https://ukfrancebikers.com/2013/03/16/france-compulsory-reflective-stickers-on-all-helmets/ These are supposed to be put on the helmet when it is made and be not easily removable, so I believe that in France helmets have to be sold with the stickers permanently fixed onto them.

    I have never heard of visitors having a problem with this, and the subject comes up from time to time on various forums I am a member of. You can get after-market stickers meeting the requirements, apart from the fact that they are possibly too easily removable. The ones on the website at the following link look OK - a lot of those on Amazon have bad reviews and possibly don't meet the requirements.
    http://www.drive-france.com/products/motorcycling-france-helmet-stickers/

    The breathalyser requirement is a strange one as I believe you are still supposed to carry them, but there is no fine if you are caught without them. I think the part of the law relating to fines was either never passed, or was cancelled.
     
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  5. wessie

    wessie Well-Known Member

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    The French pass many laws which are largely ignored by the French. Anecdotally, the only one enforced is the hi-viz law. If a gendarme comes across a vehicle stopped on the roadside they will expect to see people wearing hi-viz and they do issue fines for non-compliance. The locals seem to have accepted this as a sensible requirement.
    There's another law coming in re. emissions. Vehicles entering Paris, Lyon & Grenoble will have to have some sort of sticker showing their pollution category. I'm going to Grenoble in June, 10 of us on 6 bikes. I see there being 0% compliance and 0% on the gendarme GAF index.
     
  6. fred_jb

    fred_jb Member

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    To elaborate on the satnav speed warnings, I understand that following discussions with the satnav companies, a compromise was arrived at whereby the satnav is allowed to warn that you are entering a danger zone, which generally does contain a speed camera somewhere within it, but they are not allowed to signal the exact location of the camera in the way they can in the UK. This depends on your satnav having been updated with appropriate warnings for the new system - if your satnav has an out of date camera database and still warns at the precise locations, then you could be in trouble in the event it was checked. This definitely applied last time I was in France, but I'm not sure about other EU countries - for example I think Spain has some different restrictions on use. There I think there it is not legal to touch the satnav to alter settings while driving.
     
  7. boxter

    boxter Well-Known Member

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    A warning on another forum warns riders that if they are stopped by the police make sure your hi vis can be reached while still on the bike and put on before you get off the bike, if you have any speed camera detection including statics and zones you will lose your sat nav equipment, they confiscate them if in use and they watch you as you stop to avoid you cancelling the PP.

    Ged
     
  8. boxerboy

    boxerboy Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is that the reflective stickers on helmets only applies to the sale of helmets in France, visitors are not affected. The hi-viz is necessary in the event of a breakdown - I went for an old-school sam brown belt approach, wore it over regular riding gear so I was compliant in the event of a breakdown.
    I posted a link on European requirements around April/May last year, you may want to look that up.
     
  9. Richard230

    Richard230 Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Those riding laws must really put a damper on the Harley lifestyle in France. ;) How could they meet those regulations, while wearing a beanie or Nazi helmet, fingerless gloves, "engineer" boots, and a sleeveless (AKA "wife-beater") t-shirt that says "if you can read this, the bitch fell off the back"? :rolleyes:
     
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  10. wessie

    wessie Well-Known Member

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    there seem to be a shed load of HD dealers in France. I have no idea where they put the bikes as you rarely see one on the road, especially in the mountains. Now, Ducati Diavels are all over the place but the won't be ridden by the Neandertals you describe: far too much power.
     
  11. stuart2820

    stuart2820 Active Member

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    Don't quote me on this but I heard it said the French police do not have the legislative powers to investigate your satnav if they stop you. Sounds about right considering it's an offence to not carry a breathalyser but they can't fine you for non-compliance :confused:
    As Wessie said, I don't really think the Gendarmerie would GAF.
    I flashed 'several' speed cameras in France last summer and I'm still waiting for a nasty envelope to land through the door... :eek: Mind you, I think they were forward facing from memory.
     
  12. boxerboy

    boxerboy Well-Known Member

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    Same experience last May - no letters received, think I got away with it !!
     
  13. ETIENNE

    ETIENNE New Member

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    Can tell you, I live in Belgium and I use to cross the border quite often. And it happens once I received a fine to pay. But be careful, it took about two months to get the request for payment. I paid right away and I received months later another letter for additional charges for late payment. Send back an answer but now I keep a copy of the mail with me. In case they stop me on the side of the road and claim for a direct settlement.
     
  14. fred_jb

    fred_jb Member

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    Not sure how accurate this is, but I read recently that we have just concluded an agreement whereby in future enforcement agencies in other EU countries will be able to request name and address information for UK registered vehicles and will be able to send out fines to UK residents, so it looks like letters will be received in future. Strangely the arrangement doesn't apparently work both ways so speed camera operators in the UK will not be able to send fines to owners of EU registered vehicles. Hardly seems a fair agreement - hope that is not typical of what will be achieved in the Brexit negotiations.
     

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